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Acta Histochem. 2004;106(2):77-87.

In vivo imaging with fluorescent proteins: the new cell biology.

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AntiCancer, Inc., 7917 Ostrow Street, San Diego, CA 92111, USA.


We propose a new cell biology where the behavior of cells can be visualized in the living animal. An example of the new cell biology is dual-color fluorescence imaging using red fluorescent protein (RFP)-expressing tumors transplanted in green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing transgenic mice. These models show with great clarity the details of tumor-stroma interactions and especially tumor-induced angiogenesis, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, stromal fibroblasts and macrophages. Another example is the color coding of cells with RFP or GFP such that both cell types can be simultaneously visualized in vivo. Stem cells can also be visualized and tracked in vivo. Mice in which the regulatory elements of the stem-cell marker nestin drive GFP enable nascent vasculature to be visualized interacting with transplanted RFP-expressing cancer cells. Nestin-driven GFP expression can also be used to visualize hair follicle stem cells. Dual-color cells expressing GFP in the nucleus and RFP in the cytoplasm enable real-time visualization of nuclear-cytoplasm dynamics including cell cycle events and apoptosis. Multiple-color labeling of cells will enable multiple events to be simultaneously visualized in vivo including gene expression, ion fluxes, protein and organelle trafficking, chromosome dynamics and numerous other processes currently still only studied in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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